The Morning Mix

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– See, women stare too. Just checkout this video of a South Carolina trainer “undressing” Gamecock’s dual-sport star Bruce Ellington with her eyes

– Speaking of eyes, Rob Dauster provides a great-read on two Big East players who have battled back from serious optical injuries

I do like the work that Matt Norlander did here. He wants to know who will be the next legendary head coach to retire, following retirement of Jim Calhoun last week.  However, I will disagree with Larry Brown. Sure he’s a legendary coach, and sure he won a National Championship with Kansas back in the day, but his current role in college hoops isn’t significant enough to merit reference on this list

– Burn The Horse is a Arkansas-Little Rock hoops blog that never gets nearly enough attention. They note that the Sun Belt Conference is looking to make Atlanta, GA it’s permanent home for the postseason 

-John Feinstein still thinks Notre Dame got the short end of the stick in the ACC deal

-Does the Big East still contain the best hoops in the country? New commissioner Mike Aresco thinks so. It’s certainly debatable, but you don’t lose four high-caliber programs like Pittsburgh, Syracuse, West Virginia and Notre Dame, and not take it hit

– North Carolina State got some great news on Monday, as freshman phenom Rodney Purvis was cleared by the NCAA to participate

– North Carolina chancellor Holden Thorpe has resigned from his post in the wake of the major academic scandals taking place in Chapel Hill

– Critically-acclaimed author Tucker Max took part in the John Calipari Fantasy Camp. His review is pretty fantastic

– In order for Kevin Ollie to have success at UConn, the first year head coach will have to become a master of a few key areas

– Run the Floor ranks the best point guards in the SEC and ACC

Arsalan Kazemi is transferring from Rice. That is not good news for the Owls. The Iranian-born scoring machine was one of the best players in C-USA last season. He’s also the sixth Rice player to transfer out since the end of last season

– Billy Gilispie has been ordered to stay “stress-free” for 30 days. Yeah, because that’s really going to happen……

– Sad news out of Provo, UT yesterday. BYU sophomore forward Chris Collinsworth will undergo career-ending micro-fracture ankle surgery. This is the third straight year Collinsworth has had to undergo surgery

– Michigan State forward Kenny Kaminski is likely to miss 4-6 months due to shoulder surgery. The 6-foot-8 freshman injured his shoulder while playing against friends over the summer

– Speaking of Michigan State, sophomore Branden Dawson is speeding through recovery from knee surgery and feels like nothing ever changed

– Butler’s Chrishawn Hopkins will look to transfer schools in the wake of his dismissal from the Bulldogs program

– I love lists like this: All the transfers eligible this season at the mid-major level

– The top-10 draft prospects in the ACC, courtesy of Draft Express

Remember, if you find an article that is worthy of being in The Morning Mix, be sure to use the #ReadoftheDay hashtag on Twitter. 

Troy Machir is the managing editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @TroyMachir.

No. 5 Xavier stumbles at Creighton, lose 70-54

Creighton's Cole Huff (13) and Toby Hegner, left, guard Xavier's Jalen Reynolds (1) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Omaha, Neb., Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)
(AP Photo/Nati Harnik)
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Mo Watson went for a career-high 32 points, seven boards and five assists as Creighton jumped out to an early 21-4 lead and never looked back, beating No. 5 Xavier, 70-54, in Omaha on Tuesday night.

 

It was a massive win for the Bluejays, who still have an outside shot at earning an at-large bid this season. (We wrote all about that here.)

As well as Creighton played, the bigger story here may actually be Xavier, who lost for just the third time this season; they had been the only top ten team with just two losses to their name.

The issue for the Musketeers tonight was two-fold, but they both are a symptom of what could be an issue down the road for this team: Xavier doesn’t really have a true point guard.

They certainly didn’t have anyone to stop Watson. By the second half, they had essentially asked Reynolds, who was playing the middle of their 1-3-1 zone to matchup with Watson. It was weird but was actually somewhat effective.

The Musketeers also started out ice cold from the floor, missing 11 of their first 13 shots, and those misses led to leak outs from Bluejays, who got layups and open threes in transition to build that 17 point lead. Once Xavier got behind, it turned into scramble mode for Xavier. They forced shots early in the clock and didn’t start pounding the ball into the paint until it was too late. What they needed was someone to be able to settle things, to ensure that offensive would get initiated and sets would get executed when they were able to get the lead down to single digits.

That 1-for-19 shooting performance from beyond the arc certainly didn’t help matters, and neither did the fact that they got just nine field goals all game from players not named James Farr or Jalen Reynolds. The most frustrating part for head coach Chris Mack? They had good shots. It wasn’t like Creighton took away everything that Xavier wanted to do.

The kids just had one of those nights where nothing went down.

Those happen.

And when you combine them with a total inability to contain the opposing team’s point guard, what you get is a 16 point loss on the road against a team that was desperate to get a good win.

Gill’s 16, ‘D’ lead No. 7 Virginia past Virginia Tech, 67-49

Lehigh Virginia Basketball
AP Photo/Andrew Shurtleff
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) Anthony Gill scored 16 points and No. 7 Virginia turned the tables on state rival Virginia Tech with a 67-49 victory Tuesday night, the Cavaliers’ seventh straight.

Isaiah Wilkins added a career-best 14 points and Malcolm Brogdon had 12 for the Cavaliers (20-4, 9-3 Atlantic Coast Conference). Virginia avenged a 70-68 loss to the Hokies in Blacksburg on Jan. 4 in what rates as their worst performance of the season, and extended their winning streak at John Paul Jones Arena to 17 games.

Freshman Justin Robinson scored 16 points and classmate Chris Clarke had 11 in his first action for the Hokies (13-12, 5-7) since breaking his right foot in late December. Virginia Tech’s top two scorers, Zach LeDay (16.0 ppg) and Seth Allen (14.5), were limited to seven and six points, respectively, in part because of foul trouble.

Virginia coach Tony Bennett said his team wasn’t ready to play when it lost to the Hokies earlier, but they have been surging of late and were focused from the outset. They were credited with assists and 14 of their first 15 baskets and forced 10 turnovers in the first half; they forced just eight in the last meeting of the teams.

For most of the game, the Hokies had more turnovers than field goals.

The Cavaliers led 32-20 at halftime and extended their advantage to 47-29 on a three-point play by Mike Tobey with 12:11 remaining. It capped an 11-4 run for Virginia, during which LeDay was whistled for his fourth foul. On Virginia’s next trip down court, it got the ball to Gill inside and LeDay basically backed off and let him score, quickly earning a spot on the bench.

The Cavaliers’ lead never dipped into single digits again.

The Hokies had just eight turnovers and outscored Virginia 26-6 off turnovers in their first meeting. This time, Virginia Tech had 10 turnovers by halftime and the Cavaliers had already turned them into 15 points. Virginia Tech finished with 16 field goals and 15 turnovers.

Already leading 9-6, Virginia got scoring from eight players in a 23-8 run that spanned about 8 1/2 minutes.

Gill started it with a dunk, Brogdon hit a 3-pointer, London Perrantes had a four-point play and Wilkins finished it with two free throws, giving the Cavaliers a 32-14 lead with 2:06 left in the half. They didn’t score again, and the Hokies closed within 32-20 by halftime.

TIP-INS

Virginia Tech: The Hokies shot 57.1 percent (15 of 26) from the field in the second half of their 70-68 victory against Virginia on Jan. 4. … Virginia Tech’s starting five totaled four points in the first half.

Virginia: The Cavaliers have held four consecutive opponents to 50 points or fewer.

UP NEXT

Virginia Tech plays at No. 12 Miami next Wednesday.

Virginia plays at Duke on Saturday.

Follow Hank on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/hankkurzjr

The AP’s college basketball page: http://www.collegebasketball.ap.org